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I have my first newbie question:

 

In the book Japanese from Zero volume 1, I'm learning in this chapter the grammatical usage of wa, nan, desu, ka and along with the usage of dore, docchi, kore, sore, are (and their docchi counterparts).

 

It suddenly asks me to translate this sentence into English: Kuruma wa desu ka. 

 

Up until now I haven't seen any examples of something this abrupt. I looked up google examples for "topic + wa desu ka" of it's usage but no luck. All I can think of is this translation: The car? Feels like something is missing.

 

Am I right? Or is this a typo (this book is known for having a lot of minor typos)

 

Ok I'll brag about what I know.

 

車はですか

 

Yeah, it means : the car/s? Obviously it lacks the context so this question by itself is pretty weird. です is just the polite form of saying the sentence and か is the ? mark, は is the topic particle.

 

I don't even know if this is called bragging, I just wanted to be acknowledged :C

 

Anyways, this is basic stuff so is not hard. Well I know my explanation is fine but don't have any confidence when I explain myself in public when everyone knows more about this than me >.>

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Ok I'll brag about what I know.

 

車はですか

 

Yeah, it means : the car/s? Obviously it lacks the context so this question by itself is pretty weird. です is just the polite form of saying the sentence and か is the ? mark, は is the topic particle.

 

I don't even know if this is called bragging, I just wanted to be acknowledged :C

 

Anyways, this is basic stuff so is not hard. Well I know my explanation is fine but don't have any confidence when I explain myself in public when everyone knows more about this than me >.>

 

Lol thank you. I just wanted a confirmation. It was bugging me badly. Knowledge acknowledged lol. 

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In japanese there is never a wa before desu. The correct sentence would probably be 'Kuruma desu ka.'

I hope that book doesn't give you that kind of crap in the future because it can seriously interrupt your

learning process if you have to work with bad material. If that book continues like that, I'd contact the

publisher and ask if there's a new edition that doesn't contain the mistakes.

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In japanese there is never a wa before desu. The correct sentence would probably be 'Kuruma desu ka.'

I hope that book doesn't give you that kind of crap in the future because it can seriously interrupt your

learning process if you have to work with bad material. If that book continues like that, I'd contact the

publisher and ask if there's a new edition that doesn't contain the mistakes.

 

The mistake can be really distracting from the otherwise easy learning experience. I hear that this book is the worst out of the 4 volumes, and the books after this one cleaned up all the mess that vol. 1 contained. 3 and 4 have perfect 5 star ratings.

 

Ugh, I want to be able to read Kanji already. The first thing I do when I learn Kanji is to read the entire light novel of Hataraku Maou-Sama. Have you heard of that?

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

The closest thing I'd have to this is those:

 

Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar:
Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar:
 
I didn't put them on the OP because I was a bit hesitant about putting pdf books links. I didn't read those, can't say how useful it would be but it looks like what you want.

 

I'm self-studying japanese, and I definitely recommend these grammar books.  I've completely gone through the Intermediate one and really love it. I'm planning to get the advanced one, once I feel more confident with everything I've learned so far.  

 

The grammar rules are alphabetized so you can easily look them up again if you need to, and there are plenty examples listed under them. There is a small description under each that explains when/why you would use them. It also gives you similar grammar rules to the one you're currently learning, and when it's appropriate or not to use them in comparison.  And at the end of each grammar point, it summarizes useful notes, to give you a better understanding.

 

Each example sentence is written in japanese with kanji, but has furigana on top of them. Underneath each example is the english definition.

 

The book is also decent-sized so you can bring it around to study. It's about hand-size for me, and about 2inches thick.

 

Just my thoughts on it!

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I'm torn deciding between playing my Visual Novels and Learning Japanese right now. Obviously learning is more important, but I still haven't finish most of the VNs on my computer. There's still so many more I want to read.

 

I'm going back to work soon and I won't have much time for both. I barely just finished learning all the basic grammers, counting and Hiragana. I don't want to wait 6 months later just finish the second book =/. I'll probably have to disappear from the forums too. Why do we have to work for? 

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I have a serious question.

I'm trying to start learning Japanese but i seem to have come to a screeching halt and i really haven't even started.

I suppose my problem is where do i start? do i start with kanji? kanji and grammar? what about hiragana and katakana?

I've been getting really confused on this so if someone could please help point me in the right direction i would really appreciate it.

 

also i hope I'm posting this in the relevant thread I'm new here so I'm still learning please don't hate me.lol

 

and last thing, my goal would be to become fluent in the language so i want to be able to speak and read and write. i hope that's a realistic goal.

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I have a serious question.

I'm trying to start learning Japanese but i seem to have come to a screeching halt and i really haven't even started.

I suppose my problem is where do i start? do i start with kanji? kanji and grammar? what about hiragana and katakana?

I've been getting really confused on this so if someone could please help point me in the right direction i would really appreciate it.

 

also i hope I'm posting this in the relevant thread I'm new here so I'm still learning please don't hate me.lol

 

and last thing, my goal would be to become fluent in the language so i want to be able to speak and read and write. i hope that's a realistic goal.

the first step is to learn the hiragana and katakana http://www.punipunijapan.com/ this website has free hiragana and katakana e-books so you can download them and print it out and practice all you want or you could just watch videos on how to write hiragana and katakana characters there's a lot of videos on youtube,it's not very hard you'll finish them in like 2 weeks or maybe less i finished them in 1 week :P

 

alongside with learning to write hiragana and katakana learn some basic grammar,there are some great books like Genki for beginners there are loads of books to help beginners so you can't go wrong with it

 

now the kanji probably the hardest thing you'll face in learning the language but once you get hold of how to write them you'll realize it's really fun,the website i mentioned also has kanji e-book that will go over 300 kanjis which is very food for a start when learning kanji with grammer i suggest going over 5 kanjis a day with the grammar

 

if you have any other question or you feel like i didn't clear a point don't hesitate to ask

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the first step is to learn the hiragana and katakana http://www.punipunijapan.com/ this website has free hiragana and katakana e-books so you can download them and print it out and practice all you want or you could just watch videos on how to write hiragana and katakana characters there's a lot of videos on youtube,it's not very hard you'll finish them in like 2 weeks or maybe less i finished them in 1 week :P

 

alongside with learning to write hiragana and katakana learn some basic grammar,there are some great books like Genki for beginners there are loads of books to help beginners so you can't go wrong with it

 

now the kanji probably the hardest thing you'll face in learning the language but once you get hold of how to write them you'll realize it's really fun,the website i mentioned also has kanji e-book that will go over 300 kanjis which is very food for a start when learning kanji with grammer i suggest going over 5 kanjis a day with the grammar

 

if you have any other question or you feel like i didn't clear a point don't hesitate to ask

 

Thank you! now i know where to start! how does kanji work? i mean iv'e heard that some people learned quite a few kanji like hundreds and then didn't learn grammar and had to learn all over again. so is there a wrong way to learn kanji? the only reason i ask is that i don't want to waste like 6 months of studying and find that i learnt everything wrong.

 

any help would be really appreciated.

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Thank you! now i know where to start! how does kanji work? i mean iv'e heard that some people learned quite a few kanji like hundreds and then didn't learn grammar and had to learn all over again. so is there a wrong way to learn kanji? the only reason i ask is that i don't want to waste like 6 months of studying and find that i learnt everything wrong.

 

any help would be really appreciated.

kanji makes life easier every kanji has a meaning of it's own more than just a sound like hiragana and katakana to make things more clearer check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml4LjyAOOXA

 

grammar is very important so you can fully understand the whole sentence let me give an example:

若いうちに本を沢山読みなさい

 

the kanji:

若い=young

本=book

沢山=a lot

読みなさい= to read(an order)

 

 

so now we know all the kanji but wait a second we don't know what うちにmeans right? we can't then fully  understand the sentence

we know that this means 本を沢山読みなさい which is "read a lot of books"

若いうちに means "while you're young"

the sentence is read a lot of books while you're young that's what うちに stands for "while" that's why grammar is important even though we knew every kanji there were still something we didn't understand

 

 

i don't know if that's what  those people meant by they had to study it all over again ask them instead as i told you learn the basic kanji with grammar for now

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I'll add a few notes about kanji, too:

 

Kanji work essentially like any ideographic writing system--in addition to the characters indicating a sound, they also indicate a meaning.  Some words are written with only one kanji, but many are written with two or even more.  The kana only indicate sounds, and you should learn those before you try to tackle kanji.

 

One thing that makes kanji a bit different is that the pronunciations of the characters are referred to as readings: there are two different systems of readings in use:  On, where kanji are assigned a pronunciation that approximates the original Chinese sound, for use in Chinese loanwords; and Kun, where kanji are used to write a native Japanese word or word stem.  It's also important when learning kanji to understand that many characters have accumulated multiple meanings and readings over the centuries.  There are ways to tell whether an On reading or Kun reading is going to be used based on context, which I or someone else can tell you later.  But unlike kana, there are a number of exceptions to the rules, sadly--they are used regularly enough to make learning kanji essential, but irregularly enough that you'll end up having to memorize some complete words anyway.

 

So, the bad news is that you are faced with learning to recognize about 2000 characters, and multiple meanings and readings for a lot of those.  If you want to be able to write as well as read, you'll also have to learn how to draw each kanji.  There is a prescribed system of strokes which is used to write kanji.

 

However, the good news is that you don't have to learn all of this stuff at once.  You can learn it a little at a time.  Japan has a system of graded kanji ready for you to use (Kyouiku kanji) that are taught to Japanese students one grade at a time, choosing the simplest & most commonly used characters.  You don't have to try to learn all the readings and meanings at once, either.  Hopefully you're starting your study of commonly vocabulary words early.  In that case, the readings and meanings you should learn first are the ones that are used in those vocabulary words.  In fact, if your memory is good, you might end up learning the vocabulary and the kanji at the same time.

 

Reading practice (of easy material) is important to learning kanji.  It's much easier to get familiar with them while you're reading, instead of just doing drills.

 

In summary, there's nothing wrong with learning kanji early.  But there's no point in rushing through them when you don't have the grammar or vocabulary knowledge yet to match...

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It's been a long time since I posted in the Japanese threads. Such great posts! This is really good stuff.

 

I'm a native English speaker, I took 3 years of Spanish in middle/high school (which I promptly forgot), and I've learned/speak Russian to an advanced level (once tested at native level, but I've since lost a lot) (also, I have an accent) (Flutterz can confirm the second part). For me, having some exposure to language learning, I actually did better starting with the Kanji. It allowed me to build up a language learning routine, overcome a huge psychological barrier in learning the Japanese language, and has allowed me to launch -- really quickly -- into reading Japanese, despite having only recently started Tae Kim's book.

 

 

 

In the end, you need to listen to your body and your brain. If it's not working for you, try something else. As my superchallenge thread says (over and over) -- learning the Kanji is easy. You can do it in 6 months by working ~10-20 minutes a day. Even if you start with the language, you should absolutely build Kanji study into your regimen and study system.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone.

Could somebody please recommend me a book or a resource about the usage of 「これ」「それ」. I understand that the basic information about it is written in every elemetary level book, however what I'm looking for is not it. The usage I'm asking about is where 「それ」「これ」 points to some part or to the whole sentence before(or sometimes after).

For example the sentences below in 「それが答えだろう」 I cannot understand what exactly それ connects to? As far as I can guess, to the 「目の前に元気な桃花がいれば」, but I'm really not sure about it. 

 

本当は俺がいない間に何が起ったのかとか、聞きたい気もするけど、あまり体の事は触れない方が良いのかもしれない。
こうして、目の前に元気な桃花がいればそれが答えだろう。
楽しそうにしている姿が見られて、それだけで充分だ。
 
Please mind it that I'm not trying to ask the correct answer here, I wrote it here just as an an example.

 

The book I found pretty interesting -

http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=0eprLex8sr0C&pg=PA6&dq=%E3%80%8C%E3%81%9D%E3%82%8C%E3%80%8D%E3%80%80%E3%80%8C%E3%81%93%E3%82%8C%E3%80%8D%E3%80%80%E6%96%87%E6%B3%95&hl=ru&sa=X&ei=isjMU5iDEqfMygPs1IC4Aw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%E3%80%8C%E3%81%9D%E3%82%8C%E3%80%8D%E3%80%80%E3%80%8C%E3%81%93%E3%82%8C%E3%80%8D%E3%80%80%E6%96%87%E6%B3%95&f=false

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Not sure if there are any solid explanations for それ and これ in regards to what you are looking for. Just stick with the basic idea that これ = this それ = that. 

 

In regards to your specific example, yes, それ is referring to 目の前に元気な桃花がいれば. 

 

The reason it uses それ instead of これ there is more or less the same reason we would use "that" instead of "this". It has a more distant feel than "this". It uses that in this case since it's like "that is an answer right?". これが答えだろう would say "this is an answer right?". I don't really know how to particularly answer your question since this is a very case based thing in my opinion and there aren't particularly any set rules besides the basic definitions of the words. 

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Not sure if there are any solid explanations for それ and これ in regards to what you are looking for. Just stick with the basic idea that これ = this それ = that. 

 

In regards to your specific example, yes, それ is referring to 目の前に元気な桃花がいれば. 

 

The reason it uses それ instead of これ there is more or less the same reason we would use "that" instead of "this". It has a more distant feel than "this". It uses that in this case since it's like "that is an answer right?". これが答えだろう would say "this is an answer right?". I don't really know how to particularly answer your question since this is a very case based thing in my opinion and there aren't particularly any set rules besides the basic definitions of the words. 

 

You aren't actually wrong. I've learned that you use これ when something is close enough to touch, and それ when it's close, but not close enough to touch. Of course I cannot say this with 100% confidence, because I'm not a native Japanese, but I think it's close to how you should use them.

 

For the people who want to study Japanese on their own, there are a lot of guides who can help you out.

VNsociety and Amaterasu Translations have set up guides to help you out a bit, telling you the steps you've to take to learn it. Although it's mostly only the basics, it actually helps you to make the first steps.

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Well I just got back from Vegas. Ran into a couple Japanese people and Japanese speaking people. They all mistook me for Japanese and started speaking with me instead of me approaching them. Most of the time I panicked and could only tell them, "Iie!" 

I avoided the non-Japanese who spoke in Japanese to me since I'd feel awkward in the case THEY were trying to learn Nihon-go. I got comfortable with one Japanese female who asked me to donate against human trafficking. I slipped in a few Japanese words and sentences in between and she said my accent was really convincing. Of course I understand it at a grade schooler level still.

 

But I realized that the most fun thing about learning Japanese is the odd and random chance you might run into a native to speak with. 

 

----

 

I have to say, I really enjoyed learning from YesJapan's language book Vol 1. The most irksome part about it are the small errors, but if you're inquisitive, it could actually help you memorize better. It's packed with lessons on grammer. I slacked quite a bit towards the end of the book and now I'm reviewing my Kana with a Kana specific book until I head into vol 2. A fast learner could finish the book in 2-3 weeks , whereas I took a 1 month and a half. 

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Hello everyone.

Could somebody please recommend me a book or a resource about the usage of 「これ」「それ」. I understand that the basic information about it is written in every elemetary level book, however what I'm looking for is not it. The usage I'm asking about is where 「それ」「これ」 points to some part or to the whole sentence before(or sometimes after).

For example the sentences below in 「それが答えだろう」 I cannot understand what exactly それ connects to? As far as I can guess, to the 「目の前に元気な桃花がいれば」, but I'm really not sure about it. 

 

本当は俺がいない間に何が起ったのかとか、聞きたい気もするけど、あまり体の事は触れない方が良いのかもしれない。

こうして、目の前に元気な桃花がいればそれが答えだろう。

楽しそうにしている姿が見られて、それだけで充分だ。

 

Please mind it that I'm not trying to ask the correct answer here, I wrote it here just as an an example.

 

The book I found pretty interesting -

http://books.google.com.ua/books?id=0eprLex8sr0C&pg=PA6&dq=「それ」 「これ」 文法&hl=ru&sa=X&ei=isjMU5iDEqfMygPs1IC4Aw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=「それ」 「これ」 文法&f=false

 

これ is pretty simple: it translates to "this thing." So, if you're touching it or holding it, you refer to it as "これ."

 

それ is basically used in two different circumstances (although there are exceptions to each language):

  • To refer to something that is the これ of the person you are talking to.
  • To refer to something intangible, like a concept.

(1) seems a little strange, so let's try an example: Let's say A and B are shopping together. A stops at one clothing rack and B goes to another clothing rack a few feet away.

  • [A takes a dress and holds it up to show B]
  • A: ね、これはどう?
  • B: なにそれ

In this example, the dress is "this thing" to A, so B calls it それ. Let's try a reverse example, where someone says それ first:

  • [b finds a dress and takes it off the rack, examining it in her hands]
  • A: それはかわいい!
  • B: これ?そんな。。。やばいじゃん!

Because the dress is "this thing" to B, A refers to it as それ。Hopefully, that helps clarify things.

 

The rule of thumb is to address the これ of the person you're talking to as それ.

 

(2) is more simple - when you are referring to an object or a person who is not present, or an abstract concept, you use それ/その。(それ is a noun, その is the modifier form.)

  • An object not present:
    • A: 「本当に忘れた?先週末、パン屋へケーキを食べに行ったよ!」(You seriously don't remember? Last week, we went to the bakery to eat cake!)
    • B: 「あっ、そうね!そのケーキはジョーおいしかったわ!」 (Oh, that's right! That cake was sooo delicious~
  • A person not present:
    • A: 「彼はどこだ?」 (Where is he?)
    • B:その人いつも寝過ごすね。。。」 (That person [he] always oversleeps, huh...
  • An abstract concept:
    • A: 「絶対に恋しない。」(I'll never fall in love.)
    • B:それは無理だろう。」(That's impossible, you know.

Final note: それ is used for the phrase immediately proceeding its use. That means in your question, それ would actually be referring to楽しそうにしている姿が見られて" if it follows conventional usage.

 

Hope that helped!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone ever used any kind of Japanese listening recordings?

 

Any free recommendations I can download and record to a CD to listen?

 

I drive really far to work everyday.. so it's been getting a bit annoying listening to the same songs over and over (and I've already memorized some because of it).  That's why I'm thinking it might be useful if I just put on some Japanese conversation recordings, and just listen to it everyday on my way to work and home.  I guess learning Japanese songs might be good.. but I feel like they don't really tie into normal conversations as much so would like to try something different.

 

I believe my level is Intermediate right now, so anything that's not too easy or not too hard would be nice. It can be conversations based on grammar learning or the ones that repeat common Vocabulary would be cool. I've based my Japanese learning more on Reading/Recognition, so my speaking/listening aren't as good.. so was thinking this might be a good way to learn.

 

I'll try to look myself too, but if anyone has any suggestions or anything helpful they've tried, please share :)

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How many of you would you say you've mastered "wa" and "ga"? I hear it takes years to get the form down. I'm taking a stab at the correct usage of it in my textbooks and I usually find myself saying the opposite of it most of the time. I'm not sure if using it incorrectly or if I'm just interpreting the sentences differently than what text book intended :D.

 

Also, how many of you can take a look at your Japanese hand writing and be proud of it now? 

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